Carton House was built in 1739 for the Fitzgerald family. It was designed by the famous architect Richard Cassels whose other works include Leinster House, Powerscourt House, The Connoly Folly and Russborough House. The history of the Carton Demesne spans back to 1170 when the Normans captured Dublin with the help of the Fitzgerald family. They were then rewarded by being appointed Lords of Maynooth, an area covering the townlands which included the Carton Estate. They eventually became the Earls of Kildare and the most powerful family in Ireland up until Silken Thomas (the 8th Earl’s grandson) and his five uncles were executed for starting an uprising in 1537 against the English. They finally regained their land and titles but did not regain their position at the English Court until the 18th century. The house remained in the control of the FitzGerald family until the early 1920s when the 7th Duke sold his birth right to a moneylender in order to pay off gambling debts of £67,500. The 7th Duke was 3rd in line to succeed and so did not think he would ever inherit it however one of his brothers died in the war and the other died of a brain tumor… and so Carton was lost to the FitzGeralds. In 1923, a local unit of the IRA went to Carton with the intention of burning it down but were stopped when a member of the FitzGerald family brought a large painting of Lord Edward FitzGerald to the door and pointed out that they would be burning the house of a revered Irish patriot. The estate has been the property of the Mallaghan family since 1977 as is now one of the country’s finest hotels.

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